Rolls-Royce, Tecnam and Widerøe join forces to create a fully electric passenger aircraft
Rolls-Royce and Tecnam are joining forces with Widerøe, Scandinavia's largest regional airline, to create a fully electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market. The plan is for the P-Volt aircraft to enter operational service starting in 2026.
The project is based on the successful research program between Rolls-Royce and Widerøe, in the field of sustainable aviation and the existing partnership between Rolls-Royce and Tecnam for the supply of fully electric aircraft - P-Volt. Rolls-Royce will bring its expertise in propulsion and power systems, Tecnam will provide the ability to design, manufacture and certify aircraft, and Widerøe will have to ensure that all will be operational by 2026.
The program will seek to cover all elements of the development and delivery of a fully electric passenger aircraft that could be used on the Norwegian market from 2026. Due to its topography, Norway widely uses aviation for regional connectivity and wants all domestic flights to have zero carbon emissions by 2040.
Norway's extensive network of short runway airports is ideal for the new electric aircraft, the P-Volt.
The collaboration offers an opportunity to develop an interesting solution on the regional aircraft market. Prior to the pandemic, Widerøe offered around 400 flights a day using a network of 44 airports, where 74% of flights were operated at distances of less than 275 km. The shortest flights ranged from 7 to 15 minutes.
The development of fully electric aircraft will allow people to be connected in a sustainable way and will fulfill Wideroe's ambition to perform the first fully electric flight by 2026. P-Volt, which is based on the plane Tecnam P2012 Traveler with 11 seats, it is ideal for take-offs and landings on short runways, as well as for flights on the north and west coasts of Norway.
Rolls-Royce and Widerøe announced a joint research program in 2019. The aim of the program was to evaluate and develop electric aircraft concepts that meet the Norwegian ambition to have the first electric aircraft on frequent domestic flights by 2030. Norway also wants to reduce with 80% of carbon emissions on domestic flights by 2040.
Rolls-Royce also has a strategic partnership with Tecnam for the development of the modified aircraft Tecnam P2010 with the propulsion system H3PS. The project H3PS received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.